Sunday, May 17, 2009

NAA - NY Metro Update - LOTS going on

I am so proud of the work we are doing at the National Autism Association – New York Metro Chapter. I am an active member – treasurer, and a member of the parent mentoring and advocacy committees -- and I have the honor of working with an amazing group of dedicated, talented and brilliant people. We have had many informative and sometimes provocative presentations in the past months and have many upcoming events worth checking out. In the next few weeks we are welcoming speakers on vaccine issues (May 20th), Tomatis (May 27th), Relationship Development Intervention (June 3rd), and Floortime (June 16th). Plus we are having an amazing Family Picnic Day in Westchester on May 30! Information about all of these events can be found here.

We are also beginning to plan for our fall conference that we are sponsoring with Autism Conferences of America. The Conference will take place on October 3-4, 2009 and promises to have an exciting lineup of speakers on many topics relevant to ASD. Save the Date!!!

Since I last blogged here, we have had the following great presentations:

  • On March 25, 2009, Louise Levy, a prominent audiologist, presented on Hearing and Auditory Processing. She explained the difference between hearing and auditory processing (and the interplay between the two), she discussed how processing issues can impact children and gave parents many take home tips to help improve processing.
  • On April 1, 2009, Dr. Mark Freilich, a well-known NYC developmental pediatrician, NAA-NY Metro’s own Tia Marie Smith, and Beth Kastner discussed with parents finding the right therapeutic program for your child, including exploration of both the Floortime and ABA approaches, among other things.
  • On April 28, 2009, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh , who is, among other things, the founder and director of C.A.R.D. (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), and a Principal member of the Thoughtful House Center for Children, presented on the ways in which ABA and biomedical interventions can work together. She also discussed the need to go beyond the traditional diagnostic criteria for ASDs and to recognize the sensory issues, behaviors and many medical conditions common to many children on the spectrum, which will provide better treatment guidance.
  • Most recently, on May 14, 2009, Judy Chinitz, a nutritionist and parent of a child with autism, and Marc Dellerba, PhD, a researcher, presented on Helminthic Therapy. This is an innovative treatment that has helped many patients with gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic inflammatory conditions. Judy has used this therapy with good results for her son. They explained the history of helminthes (certain types of worms) in our environment and how the western world’s emphasis on hygiene may have resulted in unintended immune responses that the reintroduction of certain helminthes might help modulate. We even learned that a researcher at the National Institutes of Health has suggested that the link between western hygiene practices and autism should be explored further. Parents in the audience who have tried helminthic therapy also shared their personal experiences.

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